Creating a Generous Community
Benchmarks of Excellence for Holistic Stewardship
Nothing is more central to the Christian gospel than the act of giving. The entire New Testament is rich with images of generous giving, sacrificial giving, systematic giving, proportional giving, faithful giving, and cheerful giving. Freely giving of ourselves in measures of time, talents, prayer, and spiritual gifts, and faithfully giving of our financial resources aligns us with those earliest Christians to whom Paul said, “Whoever sows bountifully shall also reap bountifully….God loves a cheerful giver.”
Many people think stewardship is all about the money given to their church. But we have a much wider view of stewardship: Everything belongs to God. God is our source. All that we are, all that we have, we received from God. We are trustees and managers of that which we have received. Freely we have received, freely we give. We receive with gratitude; we manage with care; we give with faith in God’s promises.
Stewardship is about how we each live our lives. It’s about how we care for ourselves and manage our own resources. It’s about what we do with our money. It’s about our own physical, financial, emotional and spiritual well-being. It’s about our time and talents, our potential to learn and grow, and our capacity to discover and develop our own gifts.
Stewardship is about responsibility for the impact that our actions have on others. It’s about care for the entire world, not just our community or nation. It’s about our passion for justice and compassion for those in need. It’s about our willingness to give liberally of ourselves to reach out and help others.
Most of all, stewardship is about our trust in God’s promises. It is a relationship in which we trust God and God trusts us. Whatever our personal circumstances we can find blessings through wise choices and spiritual disciplines. We call that holistic stewardship.
The Benchmarks of Ministry
In our Benchmarks of Excellence for Holistic Stewardship document we provide guidance in the following areas:
- Holistic Stewardship in a Community of Generosity
- Shaping a Culture of Generosity & Guiding Principles for Excellence in Stewardship
- Best Practices for Holistic Stewardship in Churches
- Self Assessment for Holistic Stewardship in Churches
- Recommended Resources for Holistic Stewardship in Churches
Copyright © 1997, 2006, 2016 by Rev. Don Eastman